Saturday November 5th 2005, 2:05am: 24 days 21 hours and 55mins. to go.
Word Count: 10,338: 39,662 to go and a title: The Paths Life Takes
Things that start in the middle of the week always confuse me. With November 1st falling on a Tuesday this year the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMO) started mid week, so even though we're really only four days in, it feels like the end of the first week. So I hope you don't mind me posting my first weekly update only four days in.
I have to say that I'm really nervous about saying anything about how it's going: I'm terrified that I'll jinx myself. Look at the word total; I'm doing better than 2,000 words a day, far outstripping the goal of 1,700 that would see me finish right on the dote of November 30th. If I'm able to maintain this pace I'll be done around the 24th or 25th of the month.
I've done absolutely no planning, I'm not working from any notes or outline, it just keeps falling off the top of my head each day. Even the characters just show up on the pages when I need them to appear. In an earlier entry I had talked about my pre-season training, where I had done some trial runs on opening pages; those were the closest things to an outline that I had to work from. Seeing as how I didn't keep any of them though, they weren’t much use except for helping me ordering thoughts.
I have to create little cheat sheets for myself as I go: character names and spelling have to be written down somewhere as each new one appears so I don't have to keep scrolling back through pages of text when I can't remember what I called them. The same goes for the names of races, places and anything else I've invented as I go along. I believe you should try and be consistent with things like that or the reader might get confused.
I've been trying to come up with a word to describe the style of writing that I seem to be doing; you know realism, naturalism, something along those lines. The best I can come up with is: atmospheric. Since I'm trying to recreate, sort of, an era, it seemed important to try and impart to the reader a sense of place, time and mood.
When the sirocco blew in the early spring it carried with it more than just the usual smells from across the water. Instead of the hint of sand, salt, and a trace of exotic spice that usually accompanied the swirling winds marking the end of winter rumours of unrest and disquiet were part of its baggage.